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Discussion Starter #1
A few years ago, on NY's eve at about 5, I picked a friend up at the airport. We were pulled over and cited for speeding and following too close. Total BS. There is a mile space in the highway where the speed drops from 65 to 55. I was going with the flow and NOT following too close. It was a BS ticket. I fought it via writing (in CA you can state your case in writing, the officer does the same, and even if you lose, you can still appear in court). Both counts dropped.

On our recent road trip, I was driving a rental car I was not used to. SLO had just been killed. I was driving through his neck of the woods. My wife is pregnant. My 3yo daughter was asleep. I was SUPER aware of traffic dangers. Let's put it that way. So, I was cruise controlling it at about 68 the whole trip.

So, we are in the left lane of a two lane highway (less deer). There are two cars in the right lane. About 10 and 15 feet ahead of me. All of a sudden a jacked up pickup comes roaring up behind me (he must have been going near 100), and plants himself ON MY ASS. Like a few feet off my back bumper. Freaked me out. So, I punch it and pass the two cars on the right. No room to drop in behind.

Sure enough, as soon as I make my pass I see the CHP with a radar gun, pulled over, I explained, he didn't give a shit. Cited me for 85. 400 some dollar fine. I can take traffic school, but that's another 100.

I feel I did the right thing. The officer claimed to have not seen anything resembling what I described. He didn't care.

Would you fight it? If I was just speeding, fair enough. I'd bite the bullet, but I honestly thought we were in an unsafe situation and accelerated just enough to get back in the slow lane (where I should have been in the first place). Saw the same cop in the same place on the way back. Obvious speed traps through that part of rural-ish CA.

What would you do?
 

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Having had my fair share of f'ed up tickets. The fact that you admit to speeding up may just sink you with the judge. On the other hand maybe he rides. Cause anyone who does, knows that sometimes the throttle is your only friend.
 

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Doesn't hurt to fight it, there are lawyers out there you can usually hire too. It's usually about 200 bucks if they get you off, free if they don't.
 

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I don't think I'd bother fighting it, I'm guessing the courts would see it as pretty much cut and dry... They don't really care about the event's prior to the speeding, just the speeding itself. Sorry Bro, that's my take on it anyway. :t1204:
 

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LJ, I know exactly what you are saying. I guess the first thing I'd do is call the officer's home district and find out if said officer is current on his certification to operate his speed equipment. Yes they do have to certify and keep current. A friend of mine got a ticket here in NE from a county deputy. He was just going to pay the ticket. Then someone told him to check the officer's creds. He called the county where the officer was based, and found out the officer in question had never been qualified on the equipment. He then called the county attorney and had the ticket dismissed. About two months later he got a nice letter in the mail notifying him that the officer had now been certified... It's worth a shot.

Maverik
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good thoughts all, thanks y'all. I have no problem taking my lumps, but when the law is blind to common sense it pisses me off. Big time.
 

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Just to add fuel to the fire: I don't like revenue raising LEO's. I think there are a lot of them. They don't contribute to a safe riding environment. They demonstrate very little understanding of what it's like to ride a motorcycle in the real world. Sounds like you did what any rider would do under the circumstances. I support your decision. Fight them.
 

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For what it's worth, even though the outcome may suck, I think you did the right thing, Lockjaw. What else could you do? Wife and kid in the car, the tailgating pickup preventing you from getting in behind the cars in the right lane....I would have done the same thing to extricate myself and family from what was possibly a dangerous situation.

I hate tailgaters. Absolutely no excuse for it. It's just an attempt to intimidate another driver, especially on a multi-lane road where if they're willing to chill out and wait a couple of minutes, they'll most assuredly be able to get around the vehicle that's going to slow for their tastes.

I do what you did quite regularly. If I make the decision to pass, say, a semi on a two-lane (one way) road, either in a vehicle or especially on the KLR, I would rather just speed up beyond the limit and clear the vehicle quickly than take forever to get around it and drive/ride alongside it where a re-capped tire could decide to peel off. I've even seen an entire trailer fender come off a tanker and fly down the highway in front of me.

Not to mention the possibility of the vehicle you're alongside coming over into your lane, either intentionally or not.

I see cars all the time take like two minutes to pass a semi because they've got their cruise control set and won't change it and the semi is constantly changing speed.

My belief is that if a decision is made to pass (I suppose it is really not ever a true necessity) it's much safer to just briefly exceed the speed limit so you can get around the other vehicle as quickly as possible.

I'm with you on this one: I don't care much for absolute laws that disregard common sense. Sorry I don't have any advice about the ticket. I've been on the road for 34 years now. I've been pulled over once and have never gotten any kind of ticket. I ain't bragging about it; probably more luck than anything else but I will admit my wife's right and I'm pretty much a speed limit kind of guy for the most part.

I may not know much about speeding tickets, but as far as I'm concerned you did the right thing, man. It's a bad deal that you're being punished for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys. I don't hate cops, but when it is just to take money from people...that galls me. I think speedtraps freak people out and make them dangerous. Cop flinch. Ah, it's late. But, yeah, it's on CHP.
 

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Thanks guys. I don't hate cops, but when it is just to take money from people...that galls me. I think speedtraps freak people out and make them dangerous. Cop flinch. Ah, it's late. But, yeah, it's on CHP.

OK I'll admit my bias up front, I have a a couple of CHP officers in the family.

Speedtraps are illegal, increased traffic enforcement is usually because there's been an increase in accidents and or complaints. CHPs don't have any quotas for tickets. Everyone lies when pulled over. If the officer didn't observe what happened and his radar gun showed you speeding that's the extent of his knowldge. The side of the road is not the place to argue your case.

I'm not defending the truck's agressive driving but you admitted you should have passed and gotten over instead of hanging in the left lane. Submit a declaration or go to court, make your case, you might be able to get a reduction in the fine.
 

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I think you should fight all traffic tickets. It is your right and privilege. What is the worst that could happen if you fight it... you pay the ticket. You have a chance of dismissal if you fight... But you have an excellent chance of a greatly reduced fine.
 

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Until three weeks ago I had not had a chance to have a professional discussion with an officer since 1982. However, I was driving in heaving traffic on Pacific Cost Highway and got stuck in one of those "Do Not Block" zones. My bad.

I was immediately pulled over by an LA County Sheriff, who asked me if I knew why he had pulled me over.

He was pretty flabbergasted when I told him "Because I was blocking the intersection".

I don't know what the fine will be yet, but if it is out of proportion with the infraction I'll take it to a hearing.

T
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The only thing I'm worried about is losing my traffic school option if I fight and lose. I have no points.

And Spec, I hear you. I have met lots of nice CHP guys. Just like anything else, some of them aren't cool. Most of them are I'd bet. I'd be interested to know what they think if you don't think that is unethical.
 

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The only thing I'm worried about is losing my traffic school option if I fight and lose. I have no points.

And Spec, I hear you. I have met lots of nice CHP guys. Just like anything else, some of them aren't cool. Most of them are I'd bet. I'd be interested to know what they think if you don't think that is unethical.

They don't live around me and I don't get to talk to them very often.

One of my CHP relatives is a jerk, he got promoted out of traffic patrol! The other flys for the CHP and did undercover work (auto thefts, chop shops, etc.) He's a great guy but would probably point out that the officer can only evaluate on what he observes or if another party comes foward to corroborate your story.

Slight derail...

I remember one of them telling me that while in the CHP academy the instructors told them if a womem is crying trying to get out of a ticket more than likely she has done it in the past and it worked, write her up! Sure enough he pulled over some woman, she started crying. He wrote her a ticket and as soon as he handed it her the crying stopped and she got mad!

back on thread...

If you submit a declaration I believe you can ask for a fine reduction and to go to traffic school. Not sure I haven't had a roadside encounter for 25 years or so!
 

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It will probably never happen, as I don't ride over the flow of traffic speed (and more often simply ride the speed limit), but if I ever get pulled over for speeding I'm tempted to tell them I simply couldn't see the speedometer with my head stuck so far up my ass and my clear plastic navel cover was fogged up.

It might work for me...

T
 

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Obviously the guy with the jacked up pickup had a better radar detector than you or had a cloak of invisibility :) Just kidding. I think I'd plead my case before a judge. What if it had been an ambulance that came up behind you and you did the same thing? Toss that at the judge.
 

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I would, and have won, in PA by stating the facts:"I was taught to pass 18wheelers with speed and authority". As an example. If you are doing the safe thing by getting the heck out of an unsafe situation..you are driving properly IMHO. Best, whatever you decide.
 

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Lots of interesting comments, but it boils down to how much is your time worth, and what is the potential increase in insurance costs etc. I guess you could plead not guilty and go to court in the hope that the officer wouldn't show up, but past that, I'd just pay the fine. Regardless of the reason, you still violated the law, and that's what the case will be about.

Wren
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I appreciate all the thoughts. I think I will fight it because I think it was legit. And that is a heck of a lot of money to us right now. My time is relatively cheap, unfortunately...I can write a defense. Paying the ticket would be a hurt, for sure. If I can fight and still take traffic school, I will.
 
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